Dan and John preview the NLCS with the Dodgers, review the recently concluded NLDS with SF and John gives Cubs' fans 5 reasons to be confident. Meanwhile, Dan attempts to solve the Jason Heyward hitting problem.
Dan and Cubs fan John talk about the Cubs upcoming NLDS series against the suddenly rejuvenated San Francisco Giants, who played the Mets in the Wild Card game. Can the Cubs live up to all the hype? Perhaps not surprisingly, the co-hosts have very different predictions on who will advance to the NLCS.
Dan and John talk about the last three games of the season as the Cardinals fight for their playoff life. The Cards are down one game for the last Wild Card spot as they host the Pirates for three games. The Cubs, meanwhile, play a meaningless series against the Reds in preparation for the NLDS starting in a week.
Dan and John talk about the Cardinals last week and whether they can somehow overcome their erratic nature and make the playoffs. There still is a decent shot the Cards would face the Cubs in the NLDS. For the Cubs, it's a relaxing week getting things organized for the playoffs.
Dan and John talk about a happy week for Cubs fans. The team clinched the NL Central while their hated rivals, the Cardinals, stumble out of the Wild Card spot and are teetering on the edge of oblivion this season. Will the Cardinals right the ship in time? How will the Cubs manage the final weeks of the season? Are the Cubs a lock for the World Series?
Dan and John ponder whether we are headed toward another Cards-Cubs NLDS showdown. The Cubs will be there and the Cardinals are far from certain to even make the playoffs. But it is fun to imagine another titanic I-55 confrontation.
Dan and John do a shortened edition due to time constraints and zero in on some startling starting pitching statistics. The stats say the Cardinals and Cubs starting pitching in a vacuum performed nearly evenly throughout the season but that the Cubs dramatic edge in defense has made an enormous difference in ERAs.
Dan and John discuss a big week in HR hitting for the Cubs and Cardinals. For the Cubs, Addison Russell and Kris Bryant led the charge. For the Cardinals, it has been a season-long orgy of home runs, with lots of participants, led by Brandon Moss and Jedd Gyorko. Of course, as noted, leading the NL in home runs are not helping the Cardinals catch the Cubs in the NL Central.
Dan and John review Cards-Cubs split in Chicago and note the teams' different paths in 2016 and beyond. Cards holding fire and stockpiling pitching talent as Cubs go for it all this year and next. Cards got glimpse of that future with debuts of Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver.
Dan and John talk about the NL Central race being over, the Cardinals scramble to gain a Wild Card spot and the eventful first game of the Cubs-Cards series in Chicago. The Cardinals lose Michael Wacha and Matt Holliday and the Cubs seek to find a wayward Tommy LaStella.
Dan and John review the Cubs eventful 7-1 homestand and it ends a period of nervousness for North Side fans while in St. Louis, the inconsistent sputtering continues even as the team remains firmly in the Wild Card hunt.
Dan and John explore the Cubs big trade acquiring premier closer Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees and what it means for the team's World Series hopes. Also explored is the Cardinals mysterious shuffling of pitches on the eve of the trade deadline.
As both the Cubs and Cardinals come out of the gate strong after the All-Star break, the focus is on the upcoming trade deadline. Who will the teams target on the open market? It is quite apparent the teams are approaching the deadline with different perspectives. Are the Cardinals creeping back in the NL Central race?
Dan and John chat about the ASG, the upcoming trade deadline and offer their revised predictions for the season at the break. Both teams have significant holes and could use fortifications. Which team will fill those holes most effectively?
Dan and John review another bad week for both the Cubs and Cardinals. The Cubs went 1-6 and the Cards squandered some games and a chance to draw closer to the Chicago team. Both teams need overhauls for the second half of the season and trades are looming this month.
Dan and John discuss the Cubs sweep of the Reds, which ended a panic boomlet in Chicago after a 1-6 stretch. The sweep featured an unusual pitching arrangement known as the Waxahachie Swap, where the Cubs had two pitchers in the game at once. In St. Louis, the Cardinals plodded along with shoddy defense and continued losing at Busch Stadium.
Dan and John talk about an unusual week where the Cardinals unexpectedly sweep the Cubs at Wrigley Field but lose to everyone else. The Cubs, meanwhile, continued to slide against the Miami Marlins, despite their very public Miami Vice get-away gear.
Dan and John talk about the obvious need for both the Cubs and Cardinals to improve their bullpens heading into the second half of the season. For the Cubs, some major trades are already being rumored. For the Cardinals, the improvements might be less flashy but equally significant.
Dan and John talk about the Cubs' promotion of Albert Almora and the Cards' return of Jhonny Peralta and demotion of Kolten Wong and the ripple effects on the lineups. They also talk about the Pirates retooling as the season winds toward the All-Star break.
Dan and John talk about whether the Cubs starting pitching staff can maintain the torrid pace it has set, especially considering four of them are in their 30s. John dives deep into the numbers and comes up with some answers. Dan is doubtful they will all stay healthy into October.
Dan and John review in detail the Cubs-Cards series just concluded in St. Louis. They wonder what's wrong with Michael Wacha, marvel at Ben Zobrist's hot streak and rail against ESPN for not knowing the rule book.
Dan and John hand out grades to the Cubs and Cardinals for the quarter of the 2016 season. Let's just say the North Siders will be much happier with their report cards than the Red Birds. The hosts also revise their season predictions.
Dan and John talk about the Cubs historic start and how Cardinals fans can cope with it. And they outline a scenario where the Cards eventually get back in the race. In addition, they both express admiration for John Lackey's style.
Dan and John discuss the Cubs total dominance so far in the NL Central and one of the best starts in MLB history. Can the Cards and Pirates possibly make it a race this year? They also discuss teams' refusal to throw Anthony Rizzo inside and Adam Wainwright's inspiration from the Cubs' fan base.
Dan and John discuss the jarring role reversals of the Cubs and Cardinals so far in 2016: Cubs are pitching best in MLB and Cards are hitting the best. It was supposed to be the other way around. The hosts also discuss the amazing start of Aledmys Diaz and the groundless speculation of Jake Arrieta and PEDs.